Author Interview with Rainbow Rowell about the Not-so-thin Eleanor.
(via Rainbow Rowell on Big/Thick/Fat/Chubby/Curvy/Not-So-Thin Girls | The Daily Fig)
Here’s all I can tell you for certain about Eleanor’s appearance:
She has curly red hair, a thousand freckles, and a smile that can be scary. She’s pale. She’s fat. And Park thinks she’s beautiful—so she is.
I think, when I was younger, I believed in—and yearned for—conventional beauty. I thought there was a spectrum from ugly to beautiful, and that you could objectively plot everyone you saw along it.
I thought that some features were universally attractive, and others were universally repulsive. And that fat was the worst of the worst. Fat was what canceled out everything good. Fat was what made you unlovable. (Sucks to be me, FML, etc.)
I’m not sure when I figured out what a big (fat) lie that is; some days, I’m still sorting through it. But I knew, when I started writing a book about a 16-year-old girl, that I didn’t want to write about the 16-year-old girl who’s already on the cover of every book. (Though not necessarily in their pages.) The one with the long dark hair and the giant eyes, and the arms and legs that barely taper. That girl’s fine—she’s beautiful. But she doesn’t have the corner on beautiful.
If you were an alien who came to our bookstores—or browsed our teen magazines—you’d think that only Earth girls who look like Mila Kunis ever got any action.
But real girls who are that kind of beautiful—the kind of beautiful that everyone can agree on—are few and far between.
And that’s okay; it doesn’t really matter in life or love. You don’t have to be the kind of beautiful that everyone can agree on. If the right person finds you beautiful, you win. You win forever
You win forever.